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'Transition Fair' offers opportunities to the special-needs community

February 23, 2013|By KARINA LOPEZ | Staff Writer
  • Parents and young adults with varying disabilities gather at a career fair supplying knowledge about career and education opportunities for those with disabilities that are looking for more after high school.

IMPERIAL — The Imperial Valley College Transition Fair has continued to grow and provide opportunities for special needs students and their families in the area since its inaugural event eight years ago.

 This year, more than 300 community members made their way through the fair and took advantage of the information and goody bags at IVC here Friday.

The event brought together a number of different agencies that offer adult programs for special needs students after they are no longer eligible for public education.

 “This is my daughter’s last year at the (Imperial Valley Center for Exceptional Children) so I just came to learn about something of the different programs that will be available to her once she’s out,” said El Centro resident Maria Anduaga in Spanish. “I was surprised at the amount of agencies that were here. It’s great to know of these opportunities.”

The fair brought together more than 40 agencies such as the Crimson Speech and Language Center in El Centro among others.

“We help children and adults with their speech and articulation,” said Rebecca Kireta, center employee. “Our services help a number of people facing various disabilities.”

This was the first fair the center participated in and Kireta said she was happy to see the large turnout.

“I think it’s a good collection of great resources,” she said. “Everyone has been very friendly.”

Event coordinator Sylvia Lemus said the fair hopes to provide the special-needs community peace-of-mind during the transition from student to adult.

“We want students to be able to succeed on their own,” Lemus said. “They’re getting tours of the (IVC) campus and learning about how to dress. We want them to be as emotionally and mentally prepared as possible.”

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